Reviewed By Simon Milburn
Published 20 May, 2016
Hiatus. Ugh. That word… again!! Man, if that ain’t a word that’s thrown around by bands like a hot potato these days, I don’t know what is. A band comes along and releases a series of albums. Suddenly, a “hiatus” is announced whilst someone goes and does something else. When that something else is done with whatever degree of success, the hiatus is suddenly over. Fuck. You’re on a break. Whoopity do. Three years between albums does not a hiatus make. What a crock of shit. I don’t begrudge anyone - no matter who - wanting to explore other musical options et cetera but stop with the hiatus crap. Do what you want to do, and get on with it. Rightio, that’s that little rant over with.
Now, Devildriver announced their “hiatus” (there’s that fucking word again) in 2014 through until 2016 whilst vocalist Dez Fafara focused on the reunion of his former band Coal Chamber. Looking at Devildriver’s discography from 2003’s self titled debut through to 2013’s Winter Kills, they released an album every two years. Gee, groundbreaking news on that hiatus guys. Really. Just go do your JDFU reunion whatever and no one will really notice that Devildriver has gone. Two year hiatus? Clearly that “reunion” went as well as expected says anyone who could really see the writing on the wall at that time.
Ok, so maybe I should take a good hard look at Devildriver 2016. It must be recognised that around the time of said “hiatus” being announced that drummer John Boecklin and guitarist Jeff Kendrick left the band. Coincidence? Who really truly knows? From all Internet news reports, it was an amicable split. That’s all fine and dandy. One would think that maybe, just maybe, a personnel change such as this might inject new blood into Devildriver once the “hiatus” was over. Well, the short answer is no. The long answer is fuck no.
I probably should not have been surprised by this but Devildriver’s seventh studio album really does sound like everything else they’ve done before. Maybe that’s their thing, their formula, their raison d'être. But suffice to say the injection of new blood in the form of guitarist Neal Tiemann and drummer Austin D'Amond in the first quarter of 2015 has done nothing to improve the output of Devildriver. Sure, both Tiemann and D’Amond have got the chops and their work sounds tight on Trust No One but looking at the album as a whole, it’s indistinguishable from the likes of Beast or Pray for Villains or anything else you want to pluck from the last decade of Devildriver’s fourteen year career.
I shouldn’t be surprised by this but Devildriver’s latest effort falls effortlessly in line with everything else they have released in the last ten years or thereabouts (hiatus included). No doubt this will be another Devildriver album that fans will absolutely gush over and the rest of us will collectively fail to figure out what the appeal of the band is after the release of The Last Kind Words. After fourteen years and seven albums, apart from the band’s debut self titled effort, no amount of line-up changes have or will ever change anything that Dezzydrivel, er, I mean Devildriver will deliver to their fans. Haters will hate, fans will swoon. Trust No One is another Devildriver album that will satisfy fans of the band but will do nothing at all for anyone else. This album isn’t bad, good, brilliant, or shit. It’s just pure run of the mill predictable Devildriver that sounds like any one of their last handful of releases. Make of that what you will.
Roadrunner Records/Warner Music Australia